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CityFibre pilots virtualised network service delivery for businesses

CityFibre, the UK’s largest carrier-neutral Full Fibre platform, is working with Telco Systems, a leading provider of edge compute solutions and subsidiary of BATM Advanced Communications, to pilot enhanced virtualisation capabilities across its network. The new capabilities will enable business ISPs to provide a faster and more flexible set of solutions for their customers, while also reducing costs, complexity, and environmental impact.

After extensive testing, CityFibre is piloting the use of new Universal Customer Premises Equipment (uCPE) powered by Telco Systems’ ‘Edgility OS’, a high-performance and small footprint operating system, and ‘Edgility Central’, an advanced cloud-based management and orchestration system. The uCPE will also support bandwidths of up to 10Gbps without business ISPs incurring the higher costs of ‘vendor-locked’ multi-gigabit-capable equipment.

This advanced edge compute technology will enable business ISPs to rapidly deploy, remotely manage and automatically upgrade products such as VoIP, SD-WAN and next generation firewalls from any chosen vendor over a single uCPE device, with no need for engineer visits. This will radically improve ISP’s service offering, responding to their business customers’ networking and security needs in minutes rather than days.

The Edgility Operating System is able to run highly efficiently on CityFibre’s choice of low-power-use uCPE. This, combined with no need to despatch, install and power additional on-site hardware to support new services, is expected to deliver significant carbon reduction as well as a 60% lower total cost of ownership compared to existing solutions over a 4-year period.

As well as formally measuring carbon and cost savings, the pilot phase of this project will test onboarding and in-life journeys for CityFibre’s partners and their customers, ensuring a good service experience is in place ahead of national deployment.

David Tomalin, Group CTO, CityFibre said: “This is another important step towards our ambitious vision for a fully virtualised network. Telco Systems’ carrier-grade networking expertise and management of virtualised edge devices at scale makes them an ideal innovation partner. Their ‘Edgility Suite’ enables us to efficiently manage vast numbers of physical edge devices from a single location.

“By separating the software systems from network components, and introducing whitebox hardware, we can enable our ISP partners to radically improve their service offering to businesses while providing greater control over costs, choice of virtualised service vendor, and reducing waste and CO2 emissions. These are the benefits of a network that is Better By Design.”

Ariel Efrati, CEO, Telco Systems said: “We are proud to be supporting this ambitious project with CityFibre as further validation of Telco Systems’ unmatched edge expertise. Following a successful pilot, Edgility will enable CityFibre to begin its edge compute journey at scale, with virtualization of routing and other network services over tens of thousands of disaggregated physical edge devices, followed by the potential rollout of innovative value-added services to enhance its competitive position.”

CT Bureau

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